Three times as hard
For better and for worse
Too much on our fork?
You would think that with all this progress front-enders would increasingly be adopting the new features, however, that is not what I’m seeing. Instead of acquiring additional skills some front-enders take a shortcut and defer to libraries and frameworks which are popping up at an alarming rate. The richer a web technology becomes the more specialised their authors need to be. So it’s not surprising that the web is becoming more library driven at the front-end level. On the positive side; jQuery, Zepto, Twitter Bootstrap, Foundation are populating both the consumer and enterprise space. The later is a new trend and a not so subtle change from the past. The traditional all in one libraries like Sencha, Dojo Toolkit and YUI you see less customisation and more skinning. To me these feel like technology silos of the past. The newer, smaller libraries seem to be doing the opposite and are driving UI customisation, not intentionally but as a side effect of their inherit flexibility and open nature. Customisation and open technology is what has been driving the emergence of the front-ender, so, reliance on any of the all-in-one libraries is not a place you want to be.
Applying back-end technology to CSS is placing many at a crossroads, despite the benefits this brings. Building things is the only way to move forward. So understand what it is you’re making, how it’s going to work and how the user will experience it. Being a front-end is getting tougher but what hasn’t changed is that a front-ender is always in the thick of it. Sounds pretty good to me.